Gift ideas: Pets like presents too

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      Pets make wonderful companions. They make people feel loved. Owning a pet has health benefits, too.

      Pet owners are likely to go out more often to play with their animal friend. This improves cardiovascular health.

      Having a pet also enhances mental health. People with pets feel happy; pets relieve tension and anxiety.

      It’s no wonder people love pets. A 2015 commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal cited an estimate that 57 percent of Canadian households own pets. At the time, this represented 7.5 million households.

      Cats are the most popular pets. According to the Canadian Animal Health Institute, there were 8.3 million cats in households in 2018. Dogs come in a close second, numbering 8.2 million last year.

      People spend a great deal of money on pets. Statistics Canada figures show that in 2018, Canadians shelled out $8.8 billion on pets, pet food, and veterinary and other services. That’s $600 million over the $8.2 billion spent in the previous year.

      It’s always a good time to return the love that pets give. Here are a few suggestions available in Vancouver stores:

      Disco cat ball

      My Fluffy Friend’s Pet Shop
      1660 Cypress Street

      Like their owners, cats can benefit from exercise. Physical activity improves circulation and relieves boredom. Balls are attractive to cats because they roll and provide opportunities for a chase. This “disco” ball (above) has the added feature of flickering multicoloured lights that enhance the experience; it’s also motion-activated and large, so as not to get stuck under furniture.


      Cat cave

      Korna Natural Pet Supplies
      2030 West Broadway

      Cats sleep a lot; it’s hard-wired in them. They’re natural hunters that need to store energy for the next chase. Cats like to curl up in their hiding places. A cat cave could be a perfect location. Made of wool felt, it provides a comfortable spot to snooze in. Because it’s available in different colours, a cat cave can also serve as a home accent.


      Dog water bottle with bowl

      Moonlight Dog Café
      835 Beatty Street

      A well-hydrated dog is a healthy dog. This product eliminates the hassle of bringing a water container and a separate bowl when hiking and camping. It’s a water bottle with a bowl on top, all in one piece. Squeeze the bottle to fill up the bowl, and when the dog is done, just release the squeeze to get the leftover water back into the bottle.


      Grooming glove

      Spoiled Paws
      1255 Pacific Boulevard

      Grooming is important for furry friends. Instead of a bristle brush, dog and cat owners may want to try a coat glove that fits any hand size. It has soft rubber tips that remove dirt and dead hair from the animal’s coat. It can also be used to gently massage four-legged pets. After grooming is done, the glove can pick up hair from carpets, fabrics, and furniture. It can be washed with warm water.


      Foraging ball for parrots

      Pet Food ’N More
      3669 West 10th Avenue and 3244 Oak Street

      With their bright plumage and ability to imitate sounds, parrots are popular pets. They live long and can be a lifetime companion. Parrots are intelligent animals that like to be entertained. Owners can find a soft and hollow rubber ball with hexagonal holes that attaches to the cage. The ball can be filled with food treats, paper, and wood.


      Canine life-jacket

      Bones Pet Stores
      181 Smithe Street

      For owners who like to take their dog swimming or boating, water safety is a must. Even though many dogs are natural swimmers, life-jackets are available for their protection. These devices come in bright colours for high visibility. They also feature strong handles for lifting dogs onto boats and out of the water.